I thought I would sneak in this recipe while I still can, considering it has the word summer in the title and summer is almost over! Even though the last day of summer is technically September 22, I feel like it unofficially ends after Labor Day, which is coming up ridiculously fast!
A tian is basically a dish of layered vegetables that’s baked like a gratin, with a topping of breadcrumbs and cheese. This tian is a great way to use up all your summer vegetables, but is also highly adaptable to whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand. I used zucchini, eggplant, tomato, and potatoes, then topped it with Italian breadcrumbs and parmesan. The topping is also pretty versatile – I’ve seen versions without any cheese on top and some that have a blend of multiple types of cheese all melted together (I bet that version would be amazing!)
Here's a picture to give you an idea of the size of the vegetables I used - I tried to pick ones that were roughly equal in diameter so they would stack together nicely.
And here's a picture after they were all sliced up. I didn’t end up fitting all the zucchini into the dish, though I probably could have if I had tried hard enough.
This was a really comforting dish that was full of flavour from the different types of roasted vegetables. It was also really easy to make – the hardest part was probably slicing all those vegetables, but if you’re lucky enough to own a mandoline then it would probably be a breeze! This would be a great warm side dish for the coming month when summer vegetables are still around but the weather is getting a little cooler.
I know the picture at the top of this post makes the dish look really boring and strange, but it was hard to make it look good once it got all covered up with the breadcrumbs. You’ll just have to trust me that this tastes much better than it looks! Here’s a pic of the veggies before they went in the oven – they were much prettier at this stage!
Summer Vegetable Tian
Serves about 6 as a side dish
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini
2 white potatoes (or 1 russet potato)
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium eggplant
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon each)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes. Spread mixture over the bottom of the 8x8 dish.
Thinly slice the zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant (no need to peel any of them). Toss all the sliced vegetables in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the seasonings (thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper) until all vegetables are coated.
Layer the vegetables vertically in the dish in overlapping rows, in an alternating pattern. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs together. Once vegetables have cooked for 30 minutes, remove foil and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes uncovered, until breadcrumb mixture is golden brown.
Let stand 5-10 minute before serving – vegetables will be hot!